Thought Leaders Summit Promotes Antiracism in Higher Education 

Thought Leaders Summit 2023

The University of Maryland College of Education hosted its biennial Thought Leaders Summit from Feb. 8-10, bringing together scholars, administrators and advocates to share their experiences and research on the challenges and opportunities in promoting antiracism in higher education.

This year’s theme, “Antiracism Dialogues: Conceptualization and Methodological Approaches,” helped facilitate engaging conversations around antiracism efforts and how they help create a more just and equitable society. 

“Colleges and universities are microcosms of the larger systemic racism reflected in the U.S., commonly acting on and reproducing societal inequities,” explained Roger L. Worthington, executive director of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education. “Instead of taking the system for granted and trying to identify who will fit into it, institutions should make it their mission to eradicate racism embedded in their own policies, procedures, practices, and everyday operations.”


The summit, which is hosted by CDIHE, covered a variety of topics, including shifting from white allyship to co-conspirators and accomplices, decolonizing and indigenizing higher education, race in college admissions, performative activism, and antiracism and intersectionality. 

Over the course of three-days, thought leaders from institutions across the country, including New York University, Howard University, University of Southern California, University of Alaska, and Tulane University, explored the role of student activism in creating institutional change, learned about alternative approaches and strategies that go beyond performative activism, and discussed the importance of incorporating Indigenous perspectives, knowledges, and practices in higher education curricula and institutional structures.